Monday, October 19, 2015

Monkeys, Moving, & Missionaries at the Beach!

Okay. This week. Ten minutes. Can do.
This week was great! Weird, but great! We moved from our house to a new appartment this week which took a surprising amount of time, so it was weird because we didn't do a lot of missionary work. It gave all the missionaries a chance to serve one another, though, so it was really good.
We had a really fun youth activity at the beach where we ate and played games. It's so much fun to be right next to the beach!
I saw a monkey this week. It growled a lot.
Hey! Did you know Maddie is an awesome artist? One of the girls I live with, Sister Andrewson, knows her from high school and said that she's amazing. Who knew??
Yesterday, we walked through a giant rainstorm to meet a less active and ride the bus to church with her. We are so happy she came! We have no idea why she hasn't been coming, but when I asked her how she felt about church that day she said she felt really happy and had a really easy feeling in her heart. :) I can't tell you how many times I've shared my favorite scripture with people this week, Mosiah 2:4. My companion has even started using it as her go to scripture. It's my favorite scripture because I found it at a time when I didn't have a lot of joy in my life but, instead, had a lot of sadness. I was praying to God and asking Him how I could find that happiness in my life that the gospel of Jesus Christ promises. I prayed for that a lot. Then one day I found that scripture. It hit me so hard that that was my answer, that was God speaking to me, telling me that if I wanted to be happy, then I needed to do everything I could to follow His commandments, even the "little ones" like praying and reading the Book of Mormon every day. He promises that when we follow His commandments we will be happy. I know it's true because since that day my life has changed, and the more obedient I become the happier I am. It's not a happiness that can be found by anything in this world because it is a happiness that comes from God who is completely above this world. So many people just want to be happy and there are so many times I just want to throw a Book of Mormon at their face and say "It's right here!!" This gospel is where you find lasting peace and happiness and no where else will you ever, ever, find something that gives this incredible feeling that is God's love, peace, and happiness that comes despite what struggles we have in life.
In other news I'm sick again this week. It sounds liike it's going around among the missionaries, but I got a ton of sleep in yesterday; that helped a lot!
I know, I know. I'm fired from writing letters. Ugh, they're so short. I guess this fits in with my studies of sin vs weaknesses this week, haha. :)
I love you all so much!
Cute Companions!

Genie Pants!

Angry Monkey

On bikes in Miri!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Q & A Time in Miri!

Q: I'm dying to know if you took your bike with you or not! Random, I know, but I need to know!
A:  Hahaha, Yes, I did bring my bike with me. Through the airport, unpacked it into the taxi, all the way to the house. I felt absolutely ridiculous walking around the airport with a giant bike box! Haha, As if I didn't already stick out enough being white! Haha, speaking of being white, yesterday we were walking down a road when these people looked up yelled, literally, "ORANG PUTTI!!" aka, "WHITE PERSON!!!" Haha, It happens all the time, but they're not usually that excited! I'm pretty sure we're literally the only white people in Miri. In Kuching they at least had a handful of tourists!

Q: How's the jungle? I mean, Miri?
A:  I'm in....more of the jungle. It's definitely more rural, but there's still city here. It's definitely a lot less city than Kuching though. Haha, Here's something to give you an idea; I saw a giant Beawak (don't know how to spell it. Giant lizards. There's one in one of the 007's when he's in Asia?) scrambling through the (also giant) gutter yesterday. Not unusual. haha Malaysia is literally insane, mom. Literally insane!! Haha, America is going to seem so normal when I get back.

In other news, Miri is really, really awesome. I think its because Miri is just normal. Like normal people who have normal conversations and make normal jokes. It's really nice. In Kuching they are really awesome people, they were all just really kind of quiet and shy. Maybe Kuching is just the city of introverts and Miri is a city of Extroverts! haha

Also, the elders are just....gems. They are so good to the sisters! My first day here they rode over to put my bike together for me, then another set rode over to give me bed sheets, and, well, they are just about the nicest boys I've ever met. It's so nice! We're treated so well! AND we just got a senior couple! Miri didn't have ANY until we got the surprise of a new couple on Saturday night! I guess they were transfered from their mission in India really suddenly because of visa issues. I'm so excited to still have a senior couple!

Q: What's your new companion like? Where's she from? Do you have a picture of her?
A:  I love sister O'Boyle! I think we're going to get along really well. Yeah, if all the pictures upload then there should be one or two that I (literally) made her take with me about half an hour ago. Just for you! :) She's from North...? Carolina. One of the Carolinas. I've only recently realized just how tech savvy you and dad really are! Haha, None of my comps have had very tech savvy parents.

Q: Do you have to wear masks in Miri?
A: No masks in Miri. We're a lot further away from Indonesia here and that's where all the smoke was coming from. Nothing but actual, visible skies here!

Q: I can't believe you sent a photo with the sun shining! That's the first one! What's the deal?
A: Haha, Right? And rainy season is about to start!

The kid's expression is PRICELESS!

Sister MacKay LOVES the Sliders! We are so thankful for senior missionaries!

Friendship bracelets!

It looks like the children love Sister MacKay :)

And the feeling is mutual!

All the Farewells to Kuching friends!
(We were told before she left that people sit on the floor & that couches are purely decorative.)

Instructions for using a standard commode.
(She said there are ALWAYS shoe prints on the toilets. Everyone just climbs up and squats on it! Haha! )

Welcome to Miri!

Sister O'Boyle & Sister MacKay: Companions!

There was no explanation for this photo. It is what it is: a Cross made of Barbie photos.

 "A Chichat that I found in our apartment last night. They are literally everywhere! ha, ha Doors in Malaysia aren't sealed, so lizards and bugs always crawl right under." 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Ah! Miri! Freaking out a little!

Ah! I'm getting transfered to Miri! This is so crazy! I'm going to the jungle! Ah! Ah! Okay. I'm alright. I didn't expect this! This is highly unusual! 
My new companion will be Sister O'boyle. Sister Peterson and I (from the MTC) are just trading places. This means that I'll be living with Sister Crandall though! Yay! And sister Dennis who lives with me now. Comfort. :)
Ahem. Anyway! Focus. This week was great! We had a lot of stuff happen and a lot of stuff not happen. We're in a little bit of a awkward place with most of our investigators right now where none of our investigators are really reliable. Sad news; Sue and Kris have moved back to Kampung, and so can't learn anymore. I guess their bosses weren't paying all, and since they were in Kuching to work, it made it a little pointless to continue paying for rent. We also lost another investigator girl this week because her dad found out she was learning from us and got "mad, mad, mad," as her member uncle said. The good news is that we had three investigators come to church for the first time yesterday! Pow, Franky, and Among (an awesome family. have I told you about them?) are doing great! They are SO excited to get baptized! In the past two or so weeks Franky has gone from smoking 30 cigarettes'/day to 6 yesterday! And Among is also down from 30 to 3! They are so amazing. 
I got all the letters this week! It made me SO happy! Thank you to the primary for sending me so many awesome letters and drawings! I loved them. Also, can you tell Avery Orme I say happy birthday? It's so cool she's getting baptized on her birthday! She's my hero. Thanks for the reading material, too. It's so cool! I love the one on...choices? How do you say it? Choosing with two good choices. So applicable to life. haha
So Saturday I got really sick. Thankfully, Heavenly Father tends to coordinate Sis P and I getting sick with our slowest days, so we got to stay home for most of the day and take it easy. Haha, We had 1 appointment that night with a LA we hadn't seen in a while, as well as a baptism that we really needed to go to because we had Pow and them coming to see it; so the Harrisons were really nice and drove us around that night. It was so great! But I might have overestimated my health that night because I spent most of our teaching appointment crouching over a ditch, trying not to toss my cookies in our member's home. And then eventually tossing them out the car window, later. Thankfully, it worked out that I could stay home yesterday, watch Johnny Lingo 3 or 4 times, and get feeling better. All better today! Also, Saturday night after the baptism we got to finally set off our Chinese lanterns for Moon Festival (ask Ty?)! Only a week or two late! Haha, It was so much fun! That's what some of the pictures are of, setting off lanterns. :) I might have sung some Tangled songs.
It sounds like you've had a lot of fun this week! I love all the pictures! 
So the letters actually came on the perfect day! It had been a little bit of a rough day, for a few reasons, but I'll just share one. Earlier that week we'd contacted this nice Iban family, which is great! ....But they are so Iban that they don't actually speak any Malay. So we got by on what Iban Sis. P knows and when we came back we brought two of our awesome YW who are Iban to help us teach! Unfortunately, it didn't work quite as well as we were hoping, and we didn't really get anywehre with teaching. It was really sad to have to walk out of that little cement house knowing that we had litterally done all we could, but that we still couldn't give them the gospel right now. It broke my heart. This little old lady and her sons can't learn the gospel right now. We have it! Right here! In a language that's so close to theirs! But it's not quite there. The comfort comes in knowing that Heavenly Father is working on it, that He knows their circumstances, and that he will make it possible for them to hear this true gospel in their language, in a way they'll understand, whether in this life or the next. I'm so glad Heavenly Father has a plan that's literally perfect in every way!
I love you! Thank you for being so faithful and such an amazing mom and dad. I love you again! haha, Wish me safe travels to the middle of the jungle! Ah!

I think this is the eclipse in Malaysia!

I believe this is "Malaysia Day" celebration.

Cat pillows? To remember Kuching (which means cat!)

Sister P & puppy

Preparing lanterns for the Moon Festival

Sisters and their Chinese Lanterns

Alex & her Eternal Family Lantern

Having a "Tangled" experience!

I love this photo of her!
And they're off!